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Depth- and Breadth-First Processing of Search Result Lists

By Kerstin Klöckner, Nadine Wirschum, and Anthony Jameson (2004)

Extended Abstracts for CHI 2004, Vienna.


A good deal of research has looked at the question of how to facilitate the processing of search result lists such as those of web search engines. Typically, aspects of the user’s behavior such as the opening of documents and overall search times have been recorded. But a more basic question has received less attention: In what order do users look at the entries in a search result list? In particular, the usual design of such lists suggests a strictly depth-first strategy: The user examines each entry in the list in turn, starting from the top, and decides immediately whether to open the document in question. But a more breadth-first strategy is also possible: The user looks ahead at a number of list entries and then revisits the most promising ones to open the documents. The extent to which users follow such a strategy can be determined only through eye tracking. The present abstract summarizes some recent relevant results that were obtained in the context of two experiments that also investigated other issues.


You can click on the icon below to access the 1-page proceedings abstract. More detail can be found in the poster that was presented at the conference, which is available as a separate PDF file



Full Publication:  [PDF File]

BibTeX entry

  year = {2004},
  author = {{Kl\”{o}ckner}, Kerstin and
            {Wirschum}, Nadine and
            {Jameson}, Anthony},
  title = {Depth- and Breadth-First Processing of Search Result Lists},
  booktitle = {Extended Abstracts for CHI 2004},
  address = {Vienna}}